The ramblings of an Eternal Student of Life
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Friday, August 29, 2014
Personal Reflections ... Politics ...

I was doing my wash the other day at my brother’s house, and for whatever reason my eyes set upon a previously unnoticed shelf in the basement. That shelf contained the various dinner service sets that my mother bought and put into storage back in the 1960s, when my brother and I were growing up. I recall her saying to my father that this tableware cache was not simply a reserve for the occasional dropped plate or lost spoon in the house. No, this was a dream for the future, when my brother and I would be grown up and married and have our own houses and families. Mom wanted to help us and our future spouses to “get started” with our own family nests, by contributing a variety of plates and cups and cutlery.

Well, that dream never came to fruition. I got married in 1985, but it didn’t last long enough to involve a house and kids. The ex and I bought some dinnerware on our own during the engagement, which wound up in my corner after the divorce settlement. So I didn’t need to borrow anything from the old homestead, after all. As to my brother, he never left that old homestead, having never married or had kids. And he doesn’t need much for his present kitchen (my parents weren’t affluent enough to afford a house with a separate dining room — just as well, AFAIAC), as he usually eats out or nibbles on take-out or pre-packaged meals at home.

So, Mom’s Norman Rockwell dream of sitting at the head of a big family holiday table garnished with the placement settings that she wisely invested in never came to pass. The flatware and earthenware sets still sit on a shelf gathering dust, awaiting a call to family duty that never came. Well, who knows — perhaps one day my brother will find a young struggling couple who could make good use of this stuff. I hope that happens someday. For now, though, we still have the dreams that Mom had when she was our present age (actually a bit younger!) to ponder, just gathering dust on a shelf near the washer and drier.

◊   posted by Jim G @ 2:01 pm      

  1. Jim, How many kinds of things like this do we find after someone dies…a lot! We’d give my mother presents of this or that, and she’d “save it for later”. One time I was so bold as to ask her “WHY are you saving this? Why not wear it now?”…implying that she was already old (as I am now) and “for later” might never come. She *still* did not use things we gave her.

    We found these things after she died and ended up giving them to a charity or to use for people who have some disaster in their homes and need start from scratch all over again.

    Although I have way too much “stuff”, I’m trying not to accumulate things I do not use so people won’t have to bother with that stuff after I die. I do have one serious fault in this regard–books. Someone is going to be strongly annoyed when I go with all the books I have around here. But then again, perhaps they will get a dollar or fifty cents for each one and have something to bury me. On the other hand they may all end up in the trash.

    Somehow or other our “stuff” is so important to us…and then we die and it’s importance gets much lower on the list of important things. How strange we humans are–and often I think that applies mostly to me. MCS

    Comment by Mary S. — August 30, 2014 @ 2:44 pm

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